Greek government-in-exile

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Greek government-in-exile

Κυβέρνησις τοῦ Καΐρου
Flag of Greece
State flag
Motto: «Ἐλευθερία ἢ Θάνατος»
"Freedom or Death"
StatusGovernment in exile
Capital in Exile:
Crete (1941)
Cairo (1941
London (1941-43)
Cairo (1943-44)
Common languagesGreek
Eastern Orthodox Church
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
• 1941–1944
George II
Prime Minister 
• 1941–1944
Emmanouil Tsouderos
• 1944–1944
Sofoklis Venizelos
• 1944–1945
Georgios Papandreou
Historical eraWorld War II
28 October 1940
20 May 1941
• Arrival at Cairo
24 May 1941
• Liberation of Greece
October 1944
ISO 3166 codeGR
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Greece
Kingdom of Greece
Members of the Greek government in exile, including George II, on a visit to Greek units of the RAF.

The Greek government-in-exile was the government in exile of Greece formed in the aftermath of the Battle of Greece, and the subsequent occupation of Greece by Nazi Germany and the Fascist Italy, also by the Kingdom of Bulgaria. The government-in-exile was based in Cairo, Egypt. Hence it is also commonly referred to as the "Cairo Government" (Greek: Κυβέρνηση του Καΐρου). It was the internationally recognised Greek government, during the years of the Axis occupation of Greece.

It was headed by King George II, which evacuated from Athens in April 1941, after the German invasion of the country, first to the island of Crete and then to Cairo in Egypt. It remained there until the German occupying forces withdrew from the country on 17 October 1944.

The exiled Greek government was closely controlled by the British. Until 1944 it was also recognized as the legal Greek government by all Greek Resistance forces. In the occupied Greece, alongside the Axis-controlled collaborationist governments, a vigorous Resistance movement developed. Its major force was the communist-controlled EAM/ELAS. During 1944, EAM/ELAS established a de facto separate administration, formalised in March 1944 after elections in both occupied and liberated territories, as the Political Committee of National Liberation (PEEA).


On 25 April 1941, with the onset of the Battle of Greece, King George II and his government left the Greek mainland for Crete, which was attacked by Nazi forces on 20 May 1941. The Germans employed parachute forces in a massive airborne invasion and attacked the three main airfields of the island. After seven days of fighting and tough resistance, Allied commanders decided that the cause was hopeless and ordered a withdrawal from Sfakia.

During the night of May 24, George II and his government were evacuated from Crete to Cairo. The government remained in Egypt until the withdrawal of German forces from Greece on October 17, 1944.[1] The Greek government returned from exile accompanied by a group of British forces in October.[2]



Portrait Name
Start End
Georgeiiofgreece.jpg King George II
3 November
1 April

Prime Ministers[edit]

Portrait Name
Term of office Party Cabinet
Start End
1 Emmanouil Tsouderos.jpg Emmanouil Tsouderos
29 April
13 April
Independent Tsouderos
2 Sophoklis Venizelos, 1921.png Sofoklis Venizelos
13 April
26 April
Liberal Party Venizelos
3 Γεώργιος Α. Παπανδρέου 1.jpg Georgios Papandreou
26 April
18 October
Democratic Socialist Party Papandreou

Armed forces[edit]

Greek army officers participated in S.O.E.[edit]

Greek army officers participated in the mission of S.O.E. in Greece, under command of the Greek government.[1]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Greece - The Metaxas regime and World War II | history - geography". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-06-27.